The Rubik's Cube has been around since the mid-1970s. Most people have seen one, tried to solve it and, in many cases, either given up or used the tried-and-trusted "take off the stickers" approach! However there is a whole community of expert cube solvers who can do all sorts of amazing things. There is even a video on YouTube of someone solving three Rubik's Cubes while juggling them! The current world record for solving a genuinely mixed cube is 5.5 seconds. The experts always study the mixed cube first, work out their plan to solve it and then race to make all of the required moves as quickly as possible. They even loosen up the cube so that it will turn more easily, shaving all important fractions of a second off their time.
I'm not at world record speed (my fastest solve is 75 seconds) but when you show this to someone who has never achieved more than one side of the cube they are genuinely amazed that you can do the whole thing so speedily. However there is another way to do the cube much faster and that is by using some magic. My record for a "magic" solve is less than two seconds - you have to see it to believe it - it's a great party trick!
Over the last few months I've been doing a number of magic workshops for a school near Marlow. They wanted to put on something special for visiting students and asked me to put together several 90 minute workshops mixing performance and tuition. It sounded like a great idea and we booked everything into the diary. Then came the surprise. "These will be French exchange students and they don't speak English, will that be a problem?" Luckily magic is a very visual art so performing it was fine, but teaching it in a foreign language was going to be a little more difficult! However a combination of my basic French, remembered from school, and a lot of patience helped things along. The workshops were a great success and I will be back doing more of them later in the year. Many thanks to David, Natalia and Mike for helping with it all. Formidable!
Yesterday I was booked for two events and they made a wonderful combination. In the afternoon I was at the wedding reception for Sophie and Jesse in Kingsclere. They arrived in an amazing vintage car and I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours entertaining their guests, while their photographer and videographer captured lots of the magical moments. I did a special bit of mind-reading at the end and then congratulated the happy couple on their marriage. At that point they had been married for less than three hours. I then said my goodbyes and drove down to Hayling Island to perform for Judi and Ray. But it wasn't their wedding. It was their 50th wedding anniversary! They had booked the Spinnaker Room at the Langstone Hotel, with a lovely view across the bay. It was the perfect venue for food, drink, music and magic. Judi and Ray made excellent hosts and the guests had a wonderful time. It was a very emotional evening, especially when Ray made a lovely speech and then sang a very special song to Judi. It was a pleasure to have been part of such a special evening.
As a wedding magican I have performed at hundreds of weddings and to see a couple who have just got married and another couple who have been together for half a century made for a very special day and lots of great memories.
If there is one thing that people associate with a magician it's a pack of cards. Every magician does card tricks and a lot of these require one card or other to be written on, folded, torn or altered in some magical way. The frequent reaction is "won't this ruin your pack of cards"? Which is true, but not a problem as I buy them in bulk! At home I have a plentiful supply of card decks as well as selections of individuals cards (especially the Queen of Heart and Ace of Spades which both come up a lot). Here are a few of them...
2016 has got off to a busy start and my diary for the next few months is already very full, which is nice. I will be doing magic at lots of weddings and parties across Southern England and last weekend was a great example. On Saturday I drove to Burnham to do a magic lesson as a birthday present. I met Darrell and we went through a number of tricks using cards, books, phone, balloons, rubber bands and more. He picked things up very quickly and said that he was going to spend the afternoon practising and then show his new skills to his friends that evening. It's always fun to introduce someone to the world of magic!
Later on I went over to Wentworth Golf Club to perform at one of their special events. The main room is marvellous (see picture below) and although I've done magic at Wentworth in the past that has usually been at weddings in the trophy room and bar, so this was an exciting change. The magic went down really well and I got lots of appreciative comments. In previous years this event has been done by magician Jamie who, you may remember, came second on Britain's Got Talent last year. He has now moved on to doing large shows in London's West End and I was happy to fill the gap!
I rounded off the weekend with my regular slot at the New Inn in Hawley. I'm there every Sunday evening and the staff and regulars know me very well. It's a lively pub full of families having meals, people watching the football or playing the game machines and lots of conversation. It's my job to go up to people, introduce myself and then amaze and astonish them. You never know who you'll meet and it's a great way to perform lots of different tricks for different groups. It's no good doing the same tricks for shy children, rowdy teenagers, married couples, pensioners and so on - you have to adapt things accordingly. It's a great challenge and a lot of fun. See you all back there next Sunday!
I'm often asked to perform magic for passengers at Heathrow Airport. If it's busy or there are delays then there will be a lot of people waiting for flights, without much to do. So what could be better than a magician wandering around entertaining everyone? It certainly causes some surprised reactions! I was back at Heathrow on Saturday 13th February and as it was the day before Valentines Day, and the first day of half term, the airport was packed with romantic couples and families flying out for holidays. Everyone was in a great mood and the magic went down really well. Several people also tweeted their reactions, which was a lovely bonus. Many thanks to Jenny for arranging everything and I look forward to being back doing magic at Heathrow Airport soon!
I often do magic at Heathrow Airport and in fact I'm back there doing some entertainment for half term in Terminal 5 (airside) on 13th February. But last night I was just outside the airport at the Radisson Edwardian hotel on the Heathrow perimeter road. It was for a staff Christmas party - they are too busy organising other people's parties in December, so their own one is always delayed a few weeks! I'd been booked by Polly who works for Radisson and who remembered me from when I did magic at her wedding a few years back.
The party was very fancy with over 150 guests in a luxury setting. I spent a very enjoyable 90 minutes mingling with people, doing amazing things and getting some marvellous reactions. When someone thinks of a random word and then you tell them what it is the look on their face is always a picture! A great night - many thanks to Polly for organising everything.
After a hectic December it's nice to have a quieter month. During January I've only got 14 events booked in so it's definitely a bit more restful. I even had time to go to a small wildlife sanctuary and meet a friendly red squirrel (see below!).
On Sundays I'm appearing at a number of wedding fairs and meeting lots of couples who are planning their big day. I am currently taking bookings for 2016 and 2017 so if you're thinking about having a wedding magician get in touch soon to see if your date is available!
In fact I was at Mike and Mary's wedding just a couple of days ago. It was held at the lovely Northcote House and I thoroughly enjoyed doing magic tricks for all of their guests during the drinks reception and wedding breakfast. I then had a short break before going to Binfield to entertain everyone at a Tesco staff party. I arrived at 9pm so everyone was in the party mood and the magic went down a storm! Thanks to Sarah for arranging everything. "Every little helps"!
Well 2015 was certainly a great year for magic and proved to be my most successful yet. I performed at 223 different events (up on the 200 in 2014) including a huge number of Christmas parties during December - it was a crazily busy month!
There were a number of memorable highlights during 2015. Back in January I appeared on the ITV quiz show "The Chase" and even though I didn't win the money I managed to accurately predict everything that would happen on the show, much to the amazement and surprise of the film crew! In April I was flown over to Norway to do magic for an international conference in Oslo, which was a real pleasure. I've performed for companies such as SONY, Panasonic, Waitrose and the National Grid. I've been taken on as the official magician and recommended supplier for a number of prestigious local venues. I spent a marvellous day at the "Millionaire's Car Show" Salon Prive held at Blenheim Palace in September. But most importantly I got to do magic for people at lots and lots of parties and weddings. Many thanks to everyone who booked me during 2015 and I look forward to an amazing and magical 2016!
Most of my magic is done at private parties and weddings, but I also get asked to perform for larger companies, including some household names. In the past I have done magic for BP, DHL, Samsung, Oracle, esure, Loch Fyne and many others. This December the two biggest names that booked me for parties have been Waitrose and Virgin Media. Companies of this size can afford to book any magician they like, so it was a pleasure to have been chosen to provide their Christmas party entertainment. Everyone loved the magic and I lost count of how many people asked for my business card!
If you're arranging a corporate event and would like some professional magical entertainment to amaze your guests then get in touch!